On Believing What People Do: Some Statistics

Mick Mulvaney has another ad out now, offering lip service about “believing what people do, not what they say.” He seems to either believe he’s achieved something in Congress or is intent on buffaloing people into thinking he has.

If you want to put more stock in what people do than what they say, Mick Mulvaney’s record is clear, and it’s not a record you’d make an ad about.

Goose egg.
Goose egg.

Mulvaney has never offered a single bill that became law. Not one. Zero.

Zippo.
Zippo.

Mulvaney has never offered a single bill that even came to a floor vote, quite the trick in a chamber that has been in Republican control since he got elected!

Self-explanatory.
Self-explanatory.

He hasn’t done much better on amendments. Since 2012, he’s proposed 18 amendments. Only 3 of them passed. If you counted up all the votes on his amendments, No votes lead Yes votes by a more than 2 to 1 (4715 to 2039) margin. Keep in mind, the Republicans have controlled the House the entire time.

Swing and a miss for Mick Mulvaney! (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Swing and a miss for Mick Mulvaney! (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mulvaney has introduced 63 bills. Among those, 44, or more than 2/3 of them, didn’t get a single co-sponsor. Not one person among the 434 other members of the House wanted to put their name on them. It’s hard to be that unpopular. On the bills where he did manage to talk a colleague into co-sponsoring, Republican co-sponsors led Democratic co-sponsors 386 to 26, marking him as one of the biggest partisans in the House.

He’s allergic to compromise, even with members of his own party. Asked in May 2012 about finding common ground, Mulvaney’s words were plain: “Does it concern me that they’re negotiating with the Democrats? They’ve been doing that for the last 16 months. Does it concern me? Yes.”

It's terribly concerning that these guys negotiated with people who disagreed with them. We ended up with the oldest active Constitution in the world because of it.
It’s terribly concerning that these guys negotiated with people who disagreed with them. We ended up with the oldest active Constitution in the world because of it.

The American system of government was founded upon compromise. Mulvaney’s inability to compromise not only makes him ineffective, it also doesn’t win any friends in Congress. This is evident the way Mulvaney hands out plenty of blame for his utter lack of achievement — to former Speaker John Boehner, to Democrats, to his fellow Republican lawmakers — to shield himself from the truth: he’s never gotten a single thing done in Congress.

The two achievements he bragged about in his ad were a balanced budget bill and a term limit bill. Both ideas sound good, and might even make for good policy, but neither bill merited enough acceptance with his colleagues to even get a vote. If you’re tallying under “do” and “say,” this is clearly a whole lot more of the second category.

If term limits were such a passion of his, you’d never know it as he seeks his 4th consecutive term. Then again, he sure didn’t mind limiting his time in the SC House and SC Senate when there was a bigger prize to chase.

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